Hospitality Business Magazine

NZ Food and Wine School Event

rsz_1keri_-_school_of_food_&_wineKeen Kiwi wine and food enthusiasts will be clearing their calendars for the first of a planned annual Wine and Food Event in Auckland.

The two-day public event comprises wine and food tasting as well as several master classes including ones by US-based Master of Wine Tim Hanni and renowned cheese expert Juliet Harbutt.

Hanni is noted for his fun seminar that helps people find their wine type and expand their repertoire while ex-pat Kiwi Harbutt is acknowledged as an expert in international cheese.

Organised by Auckland-based New Zealand School of Food and Wine, the event is targeted at wine and food enthusiasts and industry professionals.

Owner Celia Hay says “New Zealand food and wine are certainly high profile nowadays and we believe there is a thirst for knowledge amongst foodies who want to grow their knowledge in specific areas,”

“The feedback I am getting confirms there is an opportunity to help people extend their understanding and knowledge of food and wine in an informal but informative way. That’s not only amongst consumers; there are also people working in the industry looking for opportunities to expand their knowledge.”

In addition to Harbutt and Hanni there will be wine tasting opportunities with New Zealand Masters of Wine Bob Campbell and Paul Tudor and a tasting menu with wine pairs that help explain the dynamics of food and wine by Hay. Harbutt is also running a comprehensive five-day course leading to a certificate in cheese as well as a charcuterie workshop.

The unique characters found in locally grown olive oils and a tasting to explain how the flavour of honey is influenced by the aromas of native flowers are also topics for the event presented by Raffaela Delmonte and Airborne Honey’s John Smart respectively. There are also cooking demonstrations and workshops.

Tim Hanni is an internationally renowned ‘flavour maven’. He has a particular interest in balancing wine and food flavours and is recognised for introducing the myVinotype concept. It’s a tool for consumers that assesses individual taste sensitivities and tolerances, then introduces them to wines that will appeal to their unique fusion of flavours.

Hay says he has a passion for helping people to confidently and consistently find the wines they will love. “Tim’s seminar will help people learn more about their taste preferences and discover something unique about what they like and why.”

Juliet Harbutt’s sessions will focus on learning about international cheeses and what makes them special.

“Juliet has a personal mission to promote excellence and raise awareness of cheese and its magic,” Hay says. “She founded the British Cheese Awards and the Great British Cheese Festival and has worked in TV, radio and with personal appearances throughout Britain.”

The Wine and Food New Zealand event runs from September 14 to 22 at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine in Auckland’s Customs St West. The public can purchase tickets for $29 providing access to wine and food tastings in the New Zealand Wine Room where leading estates such as Te Mata, Pegasus Bay, Vinoptima and Dog Point will be represented.  There is also a French regional tasting.

The event also includes the New Zealand Sommelier of the Year with competitions for Junior Sommelier and Young Wine Professional of the Year. Sommelier of the Year wins a VIP hosted trip to Champagne courtesy of Louis Roederer including a full tour of the cellars and the opportunity to explore other French wine regions.

The junior winner visits Central Otago as a guest of Misha’s Vineyard near Cromwell while the young professional winner gets to be part of the Herzog Harvest Weekend and vintage at Yealands Estate in Marlborough.

A full schedule of prices and events can be found on the website at